The Best Laid Plans

So. the WordPress scheduled posting didn’t work as I expected.  In fact it didn’t work at all!  Back to the drawing board.  I hoped that the wife would post the following, manually for me, if the timer failed.  She assumed it worked correctly, and didn’t check.  She had four cats and a dog to feed and water and clean up after, and me gone.  I asked the daughter to check the post early Saturday morning, and remind the wife if there was a problem.  She was busy using her power wheelchair as a pack mule to get half her usual load to Barterworks, because I wasn’t available to drive her.

So, I’ve blamed WordPress, check!

I’ve blamed the wife, check!

I’ve blamed the daughter, check!

OK, I’m in the clear.  All I have to do now is publish the following post, that should have been up three days ago.  So, without further ado, and only a modicum of adon’t, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you;

We’re Off To See The Wizard

Don’t worry about being quiet while you read this blog; I’m not at home anyway.  Either through learning Brain Rants’ trick of timer-induced-publishing, or just by begging the wife to post it manually, by the time you read this post, I will be in a foreign country, rolling out of bed to go look at some weapons.

The son and I have fled the Great White North for the comfort and security of (Metro) Detroit.  As usual, the excuse is the Spring Knife Show, but the reality is that it’s just nice to get away from the usual, if even only for a couple of days.  I’m taking along about $3.75 of American change I’ve accumulated since last October, including 10 quarters.  I still need five “State” quarters to complete the set.

Whether or not it’s because I set a good example, the son has established a good work ethic.  His shop, like so many others, has a problem with absenteeism.  In an attempt to improve attendance, they offer one day off with pay, for every six months without a late or absence.  Last year he got two free days.  Their six month periods start April 1, and October 1.  If he misses a day, it’s because he called in dead.  The day I fell off my motorcycle and broke my shoulder, I showed up at 10 AM in a sling.  The supervisor said that when I didn’t show up on time, he knew something serious had happened.

Last November son got a bad cold and missed one day, so no day off.  Because the company relies on temp workers, they eddy in and out, bringing their infections, because they can’t afford to live solidly, or get medical services.  A couple of weeks ago, he brought home another bad cold/flu, and generously shared it with the wife and me.  Last week, he was so sick that he lost four consecutive days.  Since he didn’t get a free one, he booked Friday off.

We’ll have driven past that forest of wind-turbines and solar farms, and saluted RogueBlogger’s home town.  I found the file of photos we took in October, and plan to put up a post including them.  Two guys in a big city without female supervision, for a whole weekend, what could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, we’re driving up to Novi, MI. to attend the knife show.  It’s in the back of a gun show, mostly hunting rifles and shotguns, not much to interest either the kid or I.  After we get back, it’s shopping time.  The wife is sending a shopping list of stuff to get at the Meijer store, or at Wal-Mart.  Sunday we’ll be spending across the street, at the Gibraltar Trade Center, a giant indoor flea market.  In a fenced-off section, they are also holding a gun and knife show.  The knives will be mostly factory crap, but there will be more hand-guns to drool on and pick up.

It was bad enough before 9/11, but now you just don’t tell the border guards that you’re going to a gun/knife show.  I made that mistake the first time we came down.  I admitted to a black, female guard, just small enough for her and her .40 caliber Glock to fit into the booth, that we were going to a knife show.  “How many knives you bringing in?  How many knives you gonna take back?  You got an import/export licence??”  Now it’s just, “Tourism officer, just getting away from the grind for a weekend.  Gonna do some shopping.”  They like it if you plan to spend money, but they wanna know if you’ve got a motel room booked, and where.

Not only does the Gibraltar Trade Center have the biggest collection of STUFF under an acre of roof, they’ve also got the biggest collection of foodthat’sbadforyou, in two food-service areas.  Wet burritos, (I’ll raise one to BrainRants.) chilli-cheese nachos, Chinese food, pizza, pretzels and cheese-dip, fries and gravy, (They’ve even learned how to make poutine.) fried chicken, chilli dogs….the list goes on and on.  I plan to start early, and have one of everything.  Candied almonds, dill pickle on a stick….I hope the bridge holds on the way back.

I’ll try not to look like a rube by staring up at all them big tall, 3 and 4 storey buildings, but the first time I say please, and thank-you, they’ll spot me for a Canuck.  We’ll blow the budget on some half-decent restaurants, Denny’s, Outback, maybe some fish and chips.  Have I mentioned that I like food??!

The kid works Thursday night, and gets home early Friday.  He figures with the adrenalin, he’ll have a shower, change his clothes, and we’ll be on the road well before noon.  On re-reading this post, it seems about as exciting as a grocery list, but I hope to bring back some interesting memories that I can share with you.  Thanx for stopping in to read.  Come back Tuesday  Wednesday for a new post.  It won’t be about this trip yet, ‘cause I’m a slow typist, but I’ll pull something out of the recycle bin.  Stronger than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, look, up there on the highway, it’s Tourist Geek!

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Orange Blossom Special

Before a motorcycle accident and a plant closing imposed a higher level of poverty, I was fortunate enough to accompany my brother three successive years, on nine-day trips to Florida.  With little over a week available, we made the first road-trips down and back in 24-hour marathon runs.  The second year he wanted to go, I was on a day-shift, done work at 3 P.M.  He talked his employer into letting him off on a Friday afternoon at the same time.

He gassed his van up and drove south two hours to pick me up.  I was packed and ready and standing at the curb at 5 P.M.  I don’t think the vehicle even came to a complete stop.  I waved goodbye, tossed my suitcase in, and did a running, Pony Express mount.

Less than four hours later, we were ready to cross the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit.  At that time of night, customs wasn’t busy, and we were soon on I-75, heading for Toledo.  We drove through Ohio, crossing the river at Cincinnati, and on into Kentucky.  I don’t know why he wanted to leave Friday night.  We’d both been up for 18 hours, and had at least another 18 hours of travel ahead of us.  Sleepy drivers fall off roads.  I told him that I would pay for a motel room as soon as he could find one.  Before long, a Motel 8 hove into view out of the dark.

By now, it was well past midnight.  We registered and went to our room.  I pulled the drapes tightly shut.  We were on the west side of the building, and I didn’t think we’d be there long enough for a rising sun to be a problem.  We both threw ourselves into bed.  I turned out the lights, and I think I was asleep before the room got dark.

As usual, my bladder set a four-hour alarm.  I came awake and looked at the clock.  Sure enough, it read 4:59.  Now, the brother is an early riser, often out of bed by this time, or even earlier, but yesterday was a big day.  If I don’t wake him, I might get at least another hour or two of sleep.  I carefully pulled back the covers and quietly slid out of bed.

Apparently the walls of the motel were made of inferior grade cardboard.  We were half a mile above the highway, but I could hear the big-rigs going past.  I slowly pussy-footed toward the washroom in the dark.  When the wife and I travel, we take along a little night-light.  With the drapes drawn, in the immortal words of my old shop teacher, it was darker than the inside of a pig’s ass.

I silently reached the bathroom, closed the door, and turned on the light so that the maid didn’t have to mop up my miscalculation.  I ain’t sittin’ down; I don’t care what you say!  I turned the light back off and waited a few seconds for my vision to adjust.  Fat lot of good that did.  I’ve been down in a cave that was barely darker than this room.

With my left hand on the bathroom wall, I edged my way back towards my bed.  Suddenly, I found that the maid had left the garbage pail just a little farther out from under the desk than I remembered.  My right foot came forward and, like trying for a football field-goal, I hoofed it a good one.  I thought I broke a couple of toes.  The pail left the floor, clanged off the wall, ricocheted off the end of the dresser, and clattered to the floor.  Damn!  That worked out so well.

Instantly, the brother was awake!  What time is it??  Five o’clock!  Hell, might as well be on the road as here.  We tossed back on, what few clothes we’d taken off, and I went to the office and checked us out.  I guess motel clerks get to see it all.  The same young guy who checked us in barely raised an eyebrow, five hours later, when we left.

Not exactly the Ritz-Carleton, the place cost me $60 for four hours rack-time.  Fifteen bucks an hour, a resident hooker should have been involved.  The brother brought the van around and we headed a little further up the side road to a 24-hour gas station.  Refueled, and just a little fuzzy around the edges, by six A.M. we were already a lot closer to Atlanta than we had been.

We reached the brother’s place in Florida in time for a late supper, rather than an early breakfast.  We stopped at a nearby Subway outlet. I perused the menu board, trying to decide how hungry I was.  They offered six-inch subs, and twelve-inch subs, so I decided on a twelve-inch, tuna sandwich.  In a full Southern drawl, the young female clerk asked, “Is that like a foot-long?”   What are they teaching Southern belles these days?  “Yes, Scarlett!  That’s like a foot-long.”

We got a full night’s sleep, instead of losing most of Sunday catching up.  Anything that doesn’t kill you….can be put into a blog post, and laughed about later.  Next trip, we bring along the brother’s friend Norm.  You’ll like Norm.  He can outwit scrambled eggs.

Dichotomy

Easy!  Easy!  It’s still not an English lesson, just a rant about the differences between the Twin Cities where I live.  I live in Kitchener, Ontario.  I am proud to live in Kitchener.  I tell people I live in Kitchener.  I don’t say K/W.  I don’t say Kitchener/Waterloo, and I don’t say Region of Waterloo, which comprises all of, what used to be the entire Waterloo County.

Sparklebumps lives in the Minnesota twin cities.  I don’t know how much, if any, differences there are between the two.  Here, the differences can be seen from space.  Several name-changes ago, Kitchener and Waterloo were just small villages, five miles apart.  Each has grown until Waterloo now perches like a boil on the northern ass of Kitchener.  Kitchener has better than three times the population of Waterloo.  There are several reasons for Kitchener’s greater growth, but the biggest one is, that’s where the jobs were.

The two cities share the same tourist-trapping cowpaths streets, but almost nothing else.  Things are slowly changing, but Waterloo is white-collar, and Kitchener is blue-collar.  Business owners, managers and supervisors lived in Waterloo.  The serfs and peons resided in Kitchener.  Waterloo has two universities, and has been the birthplace of four large insurance companies.  Until recently, Kitchener has been where the factories are.  We have a world-famous Community College that’s as big as their university, but still….Community College?!

Newcomers often fail to realize the significance of signs at the border, and view them as a single organism.  They ask, confusedly, how streets in common can have four different directions.  These are the least of the differences.  When the wife still worked, I would come home after an 11 PM shift, have a bite to eat, discuss our work-days, and tuck her into bed for an early rise.  If there was nothing interesting on late-night TV, I might take my motorcycle out for a late ride.

In Kitchener, the pizzerias were open, the sub shops were open, the Tim Hortons and other donut shops were open, the bars were open, lights were on, people were walking the streets.  A couple of times, I made the mistake of riding into Waterloo.  The good Seigneurs were all abed, the shops were closed, the lights were out and the sidewalks had all been rolled up and put away for the night.  I got a coupon from a sub shop, recently opened in Waterloo, and thought I’d try it, to see what it was like.  I rode north after an 11 PM quitting time, and found that this place closed at 10 PM.

With its two universities, Waterloo brands itself as “The Intelligent City.”  They contracted out the development of the industrial park where Blackberry-making, RIM Products located.  They received verbal guarantees that the interest rate would be approximately 5%, and the payback term was 20 years.  It took a Kitchener reporter to reveal that the actual rate was over 13%, and payback would take 30 years.

The Berlin Record became the Kitchener Record, became the K/W Record, became the Waterloo Region Record, because Waterloo, with a population of almost a hundred thousand, only puts out a 20-page weekly newspaper, headlined, “Boy loses ball in tall weeds”.  Kitchener Transit provided buses in Waterloo, because they had none of their own.

Waterloo residents used to boast of their low tax-rate, which was achieved by providing almost no public services.  Kitchener Parks and Recreation finally had to pass a rule insisting that all Kitchener minor sports applicants would be served first.  If there were any spaces left, Waterloo residents could apply.  They had almost no arenas, soccer fields, baseball diamonds or swimming pools, but filled the ones in Kitchener.

Kitchener resident, and employee of Kitchener’s, Superior Sanitation, Nyle Ludolf, is credited with starting the Blue Box recycling program.  He received a letter some years ago from the Federal government, thanking him for instituting the program and allowing Waterloo to be the first city in Canada to participate.  He wrote back explaining that Waterloo had turned it down as too expensive, and didn’t jump in until Kitchener, New Hamburg, Cambridge, Guelph and Toronto proved it worked, and they were shamed into it.

It’s chicken-feed in a municipal budget, but a few years back, a provincial agency got an application from the City of Waterloo for a $35,000 grant for having performed various “green” initiatives.  A suspicious clerk did some checking, and found that all the claims were for things that “The Region of Waterloo” had instituted.  The city hadn’t actually got around to most of them.

On average, the residents of Waterloo have a higher level of education and income than the good Burghers of Kitchener.  On average, Waterloonies are also more likely to have a smug, self-satisfied superiority towards Kitchener, and its population.

Kitchener has a business-like “downtown.”  Waterloo has an artsy-fartsy “Uptown.”  Kitchener stores sell boots and pants.  Waterloo stores vend patchouli, beads, and Bubble Tea.  At various street-corners and parks, Kitchener has, cleaned and re-painted presses and rolls from now moribund factories, to remind folks of our manufacturing past.  Waterloo paid some artist (?) over a hundred-thousand dollars to create a metal sculpture which resembles a large rusty bell, “To evoke the Image of Industry”.

One of the few saving graces about Waterloo, for me, is that two of the downtown Oops, Uptown hotels, have in-house micro-breweries which produce some good craft-beer.  Kitchener has a working-man, get-‘er-done attitude.  Waterloo is more, “Have the gardener and chauffeur get it done!”  You can see how simple and down-to-earth I am.  I may be just the slightest bit biased.  Your Waterloo experience may vary….but I doubt it.

YUK! YUK!

Over at her website, Benzeknees has established Tickle Me Tuesdays, where she reprints funny little stories she finds.  She also posts other interesting and informative articles.  She’s currently working on A to Z in April.  Why don’t you click on over and have a look.

Not wanting people to think that Benze is the only Canadian with a weird sense of humor, I’ve decided to publish a few myself.  Most of the dumb jokes I encounter, drive here from Quebec….but how they get in my pyjamas, I’ll never know! Vinnie-boom-bah!

This first little joke was percolating to the top of my file to be published, when Benze already posted it a week ago.  In case you didn’t see it, here it comes again.  If you promise to visit Benze’s site, I’ll promise never to duplicate another joke.

IF YOU ARE HAPPY

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow, who decided not to fly south for the winter.  However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south.  In a short time, ice began to form on his wings, and he fell to ground in a farmyard, almost frozen.  A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow.  The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him, and defrosted his wings.  Warm and happy, and able to breathe, he started to sing.  Just then, a large cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds.  The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.

This story contains three morals:

  1.  Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
  2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
  3. If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut!!!

SPEAK UP

An elderly woman phoned her telephone company to report that her telephone failed to ring when her friends called her – and that, on the few occasions when it did ring, her pet dog always moaned right before the phone rang.  The telephone repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog, or senile old lady.

He climbed a nearby telephone pole, hooked in the test set, and dialled the subscriber’s house.  The phone didn’t ring right away, but then the dog moaned loudly and the telephone began to ring.  Climbing down from the pole, the repairman found:

  1. The dog was tied to the telephone system’s ground wire via a steel chain and collar.
  2. The wire connecting the ground rod was loose.
  3. The dog was receiving 90 volts of signalling current when the number was called.
  4. After a couple of jolts, the dog would start moaning, and then urinate on himself and the ground.
  5. The wet ground would complete the circuit, thus causing the phone to ring.

Which demonstrates that some problems can be fixed by pissing and moaning.

Benze had a story about a husband and wife exchanging bodies.  This is another look at the situation.

WELCOME HOME

Hubby comes home from work, and the house is a mess!!   Wifey is curled up on the couch in her pyjamas, eating chocolates and watching soaps.  The kids are dirty and running around the house screaming.  Stuff has been knocked and spilled on the floors.  The litter box hasn’t been emptied, the sink is full of dirty dishes, and there’s no supper ready.

He demands to know, What The F**k is going on.  She smiles up at him angelically and says, “You know the Nothing I do around here all the time?  Well, today I didn’t do it!”

ICE FISHING

One day, a rather inebriated ice fisherman drilled a hole in the ice and peered into it.  A loud voice said, “There are no fish down there!”  He walked several yards away and drilled another hole and peered into it, and again, the voice said, “There are no fish down there!”  He then walked about 50 yards away and drilled another hole, and again the voice said, “There are no fish down there!”  He looked up and drunkenly asked, “God, is that you??”  “No, you idiot,” the voice replied, “it’s the arena manager!”

A laugh a day, keeps sanity away, or at least, that’s what happened to me.

‘appy Bleedin’ Birfday!

 

So, there I was, lying on the couch, moaning about how shitty this cold was making me feel,  taking the occasional hit from the 55 gallon drum of cough medicine that I got at Costco.  Suddenly the computer beeped, and I found that I had an email from the great and glorious    H E Ellis.  The Princess of Party Organisers reminded me that April 15 was the birthday of the young Beauteous Brit, Megan Stephenson, over at Very Normal.  Suddenly, the sun shone, and I felt much better.  Americans have to pay their income taxes today, but I still have two weeks.

Today, Megan achieves official adulthood.  Since we all know that she would never illegally imbibe alcohol, we thought that each of us could concoct a mixed drink to help her celebrate this momentous occasion.  Madame Booze and I have been divorced for a long time.  When we separated, she got custody of half my working brain cells.  In a cough-medicine-enhanced haze, I have devised;

 

The Maudlin Megan

1 jigger rye whiskey

1 jigger Navy rum

1 jigger Beefeater gin

1 jigger grain alcohol

4 jiggers grape juice

Mix well, pour over crushed ice, serve in an ale tankard.  Subsequent drinks may be served in a dog’s bowl.  You’ll be face down on the floor anyway.  🙂

This stuff will guarantee to help you forget some inconvenient truths, like birthdays.  You may double the quantities if your misery loves company.  A few of these will put hair on your chest.  It might be Last-Call Larry’s toupee, but, at least you won’t spend your birthday night alone.  Welcome to adulthood, Megan.

For such a seemingly callow young-‘un, she publishes a surprisingly mature blog.  It would be well worth your while, and hers, to click on over and wish her a very happy British birthday in person.  Click on the link above, and enjoy!

 

ARCHON

Magical Mystery Tour

Photo Hi-lights of Historical Sites around Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Pioneer Memorial Tower

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In 1925, the city council decided to commemorate the establishment of the first farms in the region.  The piles of stone which had been laboriously removed from the rich river flood plain below this lookout point, were used to construct the tower.

 

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 In Kitchener’s Victoria Park

Small industrial buildings in what had become the downtown area, burned, or were torn down.  Council used the land to create a public park, and in 1895 dedicated it to Queen Victoria and erected this display.

Queen Victoria’s Statue001

 Clock Tower from Our Original City Hall

DSCF2950   When the city hall was torn down, this clock tower was dismantled and saved.  Twenty years later, the clock was cleaned and rebuilt, and it and the rest of the tower were erected at the main park entrance.

 Kaiser Wilhelm’s Plinth

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Funny thing about the Kaiser……In 1916, Berlin residents were so incensed that he caused World War I that they took the bust of dear old Wilhelm & threw him in Victoria Lake…….he was rescued and reinstalled…..he got thrown in the lake again.  Somebody pulled him out, but he was never seen in public again.  Perhaps he became shell casings in the war effort.

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 Note:  Before this event Berlin‘s name had been changed in 1912 to Kitchener, after a British, Boer War officer named Lord Kitchener, who was lost off the coast of Ireland, when his destroyer struck a mine on the way to negotiations in Russia, in 1916.  A tiny lumber/railroad town in the depths of British Columbia had already named themselves after Kitchener in 1896/7, and still claim that they are the real Kitchener, and my Ontario version unjustly appropriated the name.   Germany and the Kaiser’s aggressive actions in Europe caused the “German” people of Berlin, Ontario to show that they were not allied in any way.

 

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Never common in Upper Canada, this is the last surviving covered bridge in Ontario

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Historical Field Stone House

Like the pioneer tower, the stones to build this house beside the bridge were removed from the fields so that they could be plowed.

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Castle Silo

A rich city dweller who retired to the country built this castle around an old, stone, farm silo to produce a workshop for his hobbies.

Following the Path the Cow took

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At the intersection of the main streets, King and Queen, we’re still driving around an apple tree that stood here, two hundred years ago.

Hans HausHans Haus

Even after the change of name from Berlin to Kitchener, the city retains a strong German heritage.  In 1968 it was decided to host a Munich-style Oktoberfest, which is still celebrated each year.  This building was erected beside a downtown hotel to house administrative offices and storage.

Information Retrieval

This will not be a computer tutorial.  I started with a bitch about certain website set-ups, but, in my best shit-hit-the-fan tradition, I’m going to touch on a couple of other things that sour my milk, and attitude.

I have Loi Vo’s, Style and Home magazine….actually, probably his wife’s.  Last month, I had his Business Quarterly magazine.  The month before that, I got his bank statement.  Are you sensing a pattern here?  At least once a month I get mail for him.  In the meantime, I’m waiting for my knifemakers magazine.  Once it just didn’t show up in the mail at all, another time I received the next month’s issue two days before the late one showed up.

The central city gets door-to-door mail delivery.  To save money, out here in the ‘burbs, they put up Super Mailboxes every block or so.  Forty or fifty individual boxes, one for each house, and a couple of larger package boxes.  You walk, or drive to the box to get your mail.  I hear you ask, “Is Loi Vo’s box right beside yours?”  If only!  He lives 4 blocks, two super mailboxes and a postal code away….but his house number is the same as mine, so I can see how the nuclear physicist, who moonlights as my mailman, could make that mistake….over and over and over.

Instead of hand delivering to his house, I finally decided to complain to head office, and went online to CanadaPost.ca.  What a piece of milquetoast.  They already have answers to every question you might possibly ask….except mine.  Want to buy stamps online?  Need a postal code?  Want locations of Canada Post outlets?

Every decent site does much the same.  It saves you time, and them money and manpower.  However, most sites also include a spot where you can drop an email to cover concerns not listed.  Has the Post Office got one on their site?  Uh uh!  Probably to discourage irate customers like me from actually getting service.  Well then, I’ll just take Loi Vo’s magazine, go to the main office, and complain.

The main branch used to be right downtown, then they moved it way out to an industrial plaza, how wily.  I know where it is, within a block or so, but thought I’d use their Find-a-Branch service for an exact address.  I opened it up, and they list every pharmacy and corner store which contains a postal outlet – but don’t list the main office.  I think I’ll format a letter to take with me, to list my complaints, and that will be one of my bitches.

A movie based on one of author Lee Child’s books, has come out, and he has just released another in the series.  His character, a huge man who needs a Dolf Lundgren Viking to play him, is being portrayed, some fans say betrayed, by a Tom Cruise pipsqueak.  Books I might like, which are part of groups of 20 or more, interest me.  With the number of books I read, a series like that could keep me reading for several years, so I went online to do some research.

My orderly mind doesn’t want to start in the middle.  With character development, I want to begin at the beginning.  I went to the Chapters/Indigo site.  This is the big book purveyor in Canada.  Chapters merged with Indigo some years ago, and they bought up Coles Books.  Coles used to, and still may, provide Coles Notes.  These are like the American Cliff’s Notes.  They were banned at my highschool.  You were supposed to do your own learning.  That didn’t stop them from being used at home.

On the book site, I chose advanced search, and started to type in Lee Child’s name.  I got a prompt which read, “Lee Child books”, so I clicked it.  Now, I know he’s published about 20 books, but the top of the page read, 493 Items.  493??!  Okay, there will be hardcover and paperback and large print and audio books and trade-size softback, but 493?

This is Chapters own sorted listing.  They claim this is “Lee Child books”, so I started to scroll down.  The first listing is a Regency romance called The Agency, by Y.s. Lee.  I loved the, one capitalized/ one lower case, initials.  Is she a friend of k.d. lang?  Well, it does have an author named Lee.  A couple of books by Lee Child, then, Just Like Me, by Jan-Lee Music, then a couple more by Lee Child, then Quinlan B. Lee, then Robert Lee, (no middle E.), then John Lee, then Chris Higgins and John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series.  Wait, what??  How did Higgins and John D. MacDonald get into this list?  McGee does rhyme with Lee.

I managed to sort out only Lee Child books.  Since I’m looking to start at the beginning, I sorted again for date of publication.  Yeah, that worked so well!  Since the movie just came out, that book, which is at least five novels old, is at the top of the list.  All the others were chronologically scrambled too.

I think I found the first in the series, a book titled Killing Floor.  I clicked on its image for more information, including cost.  Along with the hard cover, large print, and audio, I found two paperback editions, identical, as far as I could see.  One offered an online price of $12.95, or used from $15.65, the other online price was $10.44, and used from $10.80.

I am confused by all this.  Why is one online price $10.44, and the other $12.95?  Even if these are not exactly the same book, why would I pay half again, or better, to buy a used copy, when an original is available.  I’ve reserved a large-print copy at the library for free, with one person ahead of me.  I prefer the tactile sensation of print.  The library is only authorised to issue 6 E-books at a time, and there are 56 people on the waiting list.

Wikipedia dispenses comprehensive free information.  These other sites just hand out free question marks.